I really hate the long, cold, dreary winters in New York. Every winter I talk to my husband about how wonderful a hot tub would be. And this year we decided to get one! We got a great deal on a used inflatable hot tub. They normally cost around $600-800. We were able to score one for under $300 with the pump, filter and chemicals. This was a great option for us because inflatable hot tubs, unlike regular hard side tubs, plug into a regular power outlet. It can cost hundreds of dollars (sometimes more) to get an electrician to wire a home for 220V.
Our winters are not really suited to an inflatable hot tub.
The tub is insulated from the sides, but ours had a flimsy cover on top. We decided to put the tub on our small front deck where it’s close to the door. Our tub sits on 1 1/4″ insulation board.
There is a layer of insulating bubble wrap on the sides for extra protection. We chose to put an insulation board lid on top of the tub (but under the soft cover). We cut it in pieces to use up pieces of board we already have. During periods of very cold weather (I’ve gone out in 6° F before) we leave most of the insulation on top and just remove the smallest piece, as shown.
The insulated top also doubles as a laptop stand! (depending on how brave you are) Once in a while my husband and I turn on a flick while we relax under the stars.
It’s been such a blessing to have a hot tub, just simply delightful! It’s also reduced some of the pain I experience in the winter.
Gigi Bikini by Jalie Patterns
I never sew swimwear for myself in the winter. I just haven’t needed it before now! With the new hot tub, we almost always have 2 sets of swimwear drip drying in our shower. Since I didn’t have a two piece, I found myself wearing sports bras and even regular undies when my other suits were wet. I decided it was time to make my first ever bikini.
The Gigi Bikini Pattern has princess seams that make adjusting for a small bust a breeze. The bottoms have some cute decorating ties. View B has halter straps, but I omitted them, so this is a bandeau top. If I wore this in public (which I wouldn’t because I’m a prude) I would add the halter straps.
I used a very fun and vibrant abstract swim print from The Fabric Fairy. I believe the lining is from them, as well.
The construction came together easily. I didn’t have any 3/4″ elastic for the bra band so I used 3/8″ elastic. (This is actually a better choice for my short torso and small bust. I ain’t got nothing that needs to be ‘supported’.) This means the 3/4″ clasp doesn’t fit the band. I plan to fix that later. Half inch clasps are surprisingly hard to find!! It doesn’t really matter because the top is still wearable.
The bikini bottoms are quite snug, but not uncomfortable. Rest assured, the elastic will stay in place and no wardrobe malfunctions will occur.
Here is a look at the lining. I inserted some removable molded cups that are now not removable because they are in between the lining and the main fabric. I tacked them in place. Hopefully they stay in place. I think I’ll handwash this only.
And another fun detail! I made a very simple headband using the leftover swim fabric and this tutorial.
The construction was so simple!
As an aside….I used to think the reason headbands never fit my head was that I had an oddly shaped head. I thought this oddly shaped head was the reason the headbands always slipped off.
I never considered the maybe, just maybe I had a PETITE HEAD like the rest of my body! Duhhh….
I liked that this tutorial gives different ideas for band lengths depending on your age. I cut out a rectangle 7″ x 19.5″ long. It fits okay, but next time I will shorten by 1/2″. It fits much better than store bought headbands.
If anyone has a tip on making a non-slip headband, I’d love to hear it! I’m thinking of adding clear elastic to the inside of my headbands but I’m not sure if that will be too grippy.
Anyway, thanks for reading and Happy Sewing!